Live Like It’s Live

SNL-imageLive From New York, It’s Saturday Night!

For 40 years, those 7 words have been uttered from studio 8H in Rockefeller Center announcing the most exciting 90 minutes of television comedy every week.

The most important of those 7 words is the first one – Live.

“Saturday Night Live”, despite what you may think, airs LIVE. It does not air on tape delay. It does not air 3 months after it was recorded. New episodes air live at 11:30 pm Eastern Standard Time Saturday nights.

There’s no getting around this. If the sketches aren’t ready or the actors aren’t prepared the show cannot be postponed. There’s a contract with the network and with the viewers. The show must go on no matter what. Continue reading

Do Small Things Matter To A Big God?

***NOTE: For me, 2013 will always be the year I stepped away from my position as Director of Student Ministries at The Hill Baptist Church. Working at The Hill was a incredibly challenging and incredibly rewarding experience, one that taught me countless lessons I’m still being transformed by. As 2013 comes to a close, I thought it would be fitting to share the article I wrote for The Augusta Chronicle on the eve of my final day on staff at The Hill. As you reflect on the year that was and make plans for the year to come, I can only pray you’ll believe the small things really do matter to God. 

IMG_1524“Does it matter?”

Every morning I make the drive down Central Avenue, turning onto Kings Way and into the parking lot of The Hill Baptist Church, thinking to myself, “Does it matter?”

For five years I have served as the director of student ministries at The Hill. When I began I was a 22-year-old student in my final semester at Augusta State University. I was a fresh-faced intern with adventurous faith who dreamed of changing the world through youth ministry.

Though I thought I knew it all (as most 22-year-olds do), I never could have predicted what the next five years would hold. Today, as I prepare to step down from my position at the church, I am questioning if anything I did mattered.

Did picking up and dropping off students for an hour before and after church matter? Did the conversations over late-night fast food matter? Did silly Facebook wall posts matter? Does small ministry with a small group of students in a small church with a small budget matter to an incredibly big God?

The Hill Baptist Church is a small church. The Hill Youth is a small group, about 20 active students. When I see some of Augusta’s most vibrant churches bringing in hundreds of students to camps and lock-ins, I sometimes wonder if I’ve been doing something wrong this whole time. Continue reading

Tips For The Beginning Time Traveler

ABOUT-TIME_NZ_A3_v1.inddYou may not be able to travel back in time. But you can change the future.

That’s the theme of “About Time”, the new movie starring Rachel McAdams which just hit theaters. My girlfriend and I saw the film this weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it.

The plot focuses on a young man who learns a secret from his father on his 21st birthday – all the males in his family have the ability to travel back in time.

The young man knows instantly what he wants to use his gift for: to find a girlfriend.

At first the possibilities are endless for how to use his new power. He’s able to fix those awkward dinner conversations, perfect the first kiss, even stop the love of his life from meeting a bad boyfriend.

Late in the movie things really get interesting. I don’t think I’m spoiling anything, but the question for the main character becomes “Instead of traveling back in time to fix my mistakes, how can I do things better the first time around?” Continue reading

The U2 Trick

Who would you say is the biggest band in the world right now? Would it be Mumford and Sons? fun.? Maroon 5? One Direction?

U2-Rattle-and-HumIn the late 80s, the answer to that question would have undoubtedly been U2. In 1989, at the peak of their international popularity, U2 decided to take a break. After ten years of constant touring across the world and six smash records, the biggest band in the world took a few years off to, as Bono said at the time, “dream it all up again.”

When they returned with their next album “Achtung Baby” in 1991, most people expected it would consist of the same uplifting, soul-searching arena rock that was a trademark of U2. Instead, “Achtung Baby” sounded like this: 

“Achtung Baby” was not just a tremendous departure from anything U2 had ever created, but from anything on the radio in 1991. Why would the biggest band in the world completely deconstruct their sound and release an album so far removed from their previous catalog?

Here’s the trick: they wanted to thrive, not just survive. Continue reading